DUBAL Disqualification

Driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level (DUBAL) is a serious charge and if you’re a commercial driver it can dramatically impact your life. Commercial driver license (CDL) holders must have their license suspended up to one year if they have refused to submit to drug testing for DUI or were arrested for driving under the influence.

Battling DUI charges is enough of an uphill battle without worrying about your livelihood. However, it’s important you act quickly to protect your license. You only have five days after the receiving your disqualification notice to schedule a hearing. If you or someone you know has been arrested for DUI as a CDL driver, then it’s important you contact legal counsel. 

DUBAL Attorney for CDL Disqualification in West Palm Beach, FL

Were you recently arrested for driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level (DUBAL)? Did you lose your commercial driver’s license as a result? If so, we recommend you get in contact with the experienced defense attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A..

The team at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. have an immense passion for criminal defense and want to use our knowledge to assist your case. Call us at (561) 557-8686 to set up you first appointment free today. Our attorneys represent clients throughout the greater West Palm Beach area including Wellington, Boca Raton, Jupiter and Palm Beach.

Overview of DUBAL Disqualification in FL

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Disqualification Terms for CDL Drivers Charged with DUI

Commercial drivers have a different set of standards for DUI than non-commercial license holders. Instead of having a legal limit of .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), commercial drivers can blow at or above .04 and face DUI charges and CDL disqualification. Refusing to submit to chemical testing and being arrested on probable cause can also lead to DUI charges and your CDL being disqualified.

For commercial drivers, even one arrest of conviction of DUI can devastate a career. Refusing to submit to testing or being charged with DUI will result in a one-year disqualification of their CDL. A second or subsequent refusal or charge could lead to the permanent disqualification of operating any commercial motor vehicle. 

In addition to this, commercial drivers are not allowed the same legal options as non-commercial drivers. The courts will not allow a withhold adjudication for a CDL DUI offender because they don’t want to “mask” the conviction from the public since driving is their job. Because of this, they cannot attend a diversion program or driver improvement course to prevent a conviction on their record.

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Informal & Formal Review Hearing for DUBAL Disqualification

The penalties involving DUI and CDL drivers are much more severe than non-commercial drivers. Thankfully, there are avenues you can pursue to avoid disqualification. Scheduling a formal or informal review hearing for your disqualification with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles could help save your livelihood.

You have a right to select between a formal and informal review for your disqualification. Formal reviews must involve you and the arresting officers appearing in front of a hearing officer and there you can contest that the disqualification is unnecessary. An informal review is conducted only by the hearing officer without the officer, driver or any witnesses present.

In either review hearing, the standard of proof is by preponderance of the evidence. This means the defendant must prove there is greater than a 50 percent chance that their claim is true. Most of the hearing will probably center on the following two elements. 

  • Did law enforcement have probable cause; and
  • Whether there is scientific evidence that you were driving with an unlawful blood alcohol concentration.

If the focus of the hearing is a DUBAL refusal, then it will likely concentrate on: 

  • If law enforcement had probable cause to pull you over;
  • The reasons or statements made for why you refused; and
  • Whether you were told that if you refused you could face CDL disqualification

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Additional Resources

Florida CDL Handbook - View the full text of the Florida Commercial Driver License Handbook by visiting the Florida Department for Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. The handbook not only covers CDL tests, but also CDL disqualifications. You can also read about other CDL rules. 

Florida DUI Laws - View the official site of the Florida Statutes to learn more about state law governing CDL disqualifications. Learn what happens when the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles fails to schedule the formal review hearing within 30 days after receipt of the request therefor. You can also find information about obtaining a license for business or employment purposes.

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DUBAL Defense Lawyer in Palm Beach County, FL

If you or someone you know has been charged with DUBAL as a CDL holder, it’s time to act. You need experienced and skilled legal representation such as the attorneys at Meltzer & Bell, P.A.. Our team at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. has practiced for collectively over 20 years and has a special focus on DUI cases.

Call us to schedule your first appointment free at (561) 557-8686. The lawyers at Meltzer & Bell, P.A. will work tirelessly to obtain the best possible result for your case. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. represents people throughout the greater Palm Beach County area including West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Delray Beach.

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Client Testimonials for Meltzer & Bell, P.A.
Client Testimonials
  • ...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.

  • I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!

  • I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.

  • I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!

  • Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!

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